Today’s CQC State of Care report has revealed that people with a learning disability are finding it increasingly hard to access the right support at the right time as a result of a decade of austerity and cuts to social care funding.

This is leaving people with a learning disability at risk of reaching crisis point and being locked away in inpatient units where they are at risk of neglect and abuse.

Mencap has called for the Government to ensure that working age disabled people are included in the Government’s long-promised Social Care reforms. 

Dan Scorer, Head of Policy & Public Affairs said:

Today’s report is incredibly significant coming as it does in the wake of the Whorlton Hall abuse expose earlier this year and CQC’s investigation into the use of seclusion and restraint against people with a learning disability. 

It’s a national scandal that people with a learning disability are still being denied access to the support and care that they need in their local communities and remain in inpatient units far from home and loved ones. Over 2,250 children and adults remain locked away in these modern day asylums at increased risk of abuse and neglect. We’re pleased to see CQC highlighting the unacceptably slow progress on Transforming Care by the Government and NHS England. 

A decade of austerity and funding cuts to social care is putting people with a learning disability and their families in crisis; Local Authorities admit they are struggling to meet even their statutory obligations in care provision. In today’s Queen’s Speech we have heard again the Government’s commitment to publish the long-promised Social Care reforms. Yet again working age disabled people who account for half of the budget were absent from the Government’s narrative. We hope that they are not absent from the Government’s plans.

Read the CQC’s State of Care report online here: www.cqc.org.uk/news/releases/growing-pressures-access-staffin

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For further information, contact Mencap’s media team on media@mencap.org.uk or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).  

Notes to editors

About Mencap     

There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.  Visit www.mencap.org.uk.

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (9am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email helpline@mencap.org.uk .     

What is a learning disability?    

  • A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;    
  • Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;     
  • People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.